When A C-section Is Necessary (& When It’s Not)

Every woman wants an easy pregnancy. To enjoy her baby bump, daydream about her little one, and to have a smooth delivery. Complications are the last thing a mother wants to think about. 

Whether delivery is vaginal or via C-section, bringing a child into the world is an intense process. Doctors and midwives are wonderful and without their expertise, mortality stats would skyrocket. But every once in a while a healthcare professional makes a decision that’s more harmful than it is good.

In this week’s blog we’ll discuss some scenarios you should watch out for, and what you can do if you or your baby have experienced a birth injury.

When C-Sections Are Necessary

There are times when a C-section is absolutely necessary and is the only option for saving lives. Medical staff are highly trained and should understand which instances warrant an emergency surgery. Red flags include fetal distress, an irregular heartbeat, a tangled umbilical cord, and dangerous bleeding among other scary situations. 

In some cases, C-sections are even scheduled in advance. If the mother has certain health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension it may be safer to deliver the baby via C-section. Here’s a few more instances where a C-section may be the safest option:

►Problems with the placenta

►Delivery of multiples (twins, triplets, and more)

►The presence of a dangerous birth defect

►A baby that is too large or is in an unfavorable birth position

Whether a C-section is a last minute decision or scheduled ahead of time, your doctor is ultimately responsible for making the right choices and explaining things to you. Failing to act quickly can result in harmful injuries and in the very worst scenario, death.

A man wearing scrubs holds a newborn baby in his hands and is about to weigh her on a scale.

When C-sections Are Unnecessary

Sometimes C-sections occur when they’re not medically necessary. But why?

Every once in a while, a mother will elect to have a C-section for personal reasons such as fear of delivery or a busy schedule. That’s not generally the case though. The main culprit for unnecessary C-sections is long labor. Here’s what Neel Shah, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, had to say about it:

“When it comes to cost, on average C-sections are reimbursed at 50 percent more than vaginal deliveries in the US. Eighty percent of the cost of labor and delivery is staffing, and C-sections generally require a small staff working for fewer hours. So it’s not the additional money the doctor makes. A vaginal delivery, from a resource point of view, just costs more.”

There you have it. When a mother has a long labor and delivers vaginally, it costs the hospital more. More money and more time. Women are sometimes pressured into having a procedure they don’t want to because of a lack of patience. If your doctor is throwing in the towel because they want to go to the ball game, that’s a problem. Especially if their decision impacts you and your child in a harmful way.

What Complications Can Arise?

Most of us are so familiar with term “C-section” that we forget it’s actually a major surgical procedure. Incisions are made through the abdomen wall and uterus to deliver the baby. You’ll likely have a 4-6 inch scar, will be in the hospital for a few days, and will need to take it easy for a couple of months. And that’s if everything goes smoothly.

In the event of a medical malpractice error, or simply an unforeseen circumstance you may experience any one of the following:

►Lacerations to other organs 

►Need for an emergency hysterectomy

►Higher risk of blood clots

►Too much blood loss

►Infection at the wound site

If your physician made a risky call and harmed you or your baby, there are things you can do about it. In fact, you should probably consider legal action.

A woman stares out the window as she sits in a chair with her knees cradles against her chest.

Botched C-sections: How To Take Legal Action

Even the most trusted professionals make mistakes under pressure but that’s still no excuse for medical negligence. Mothers and babies deserve the safest method of delivery and care. Performing a risky and unnecessary C-section can endanger everyone and make a doctor liable for malpractice. It may be difficult to prove that your doctor suggested a C-section when it wasn’t necessary, but if you experienced a birth injury, you may want to fight back.

Factors like payment or time of day shouldn’t influence a baby’s birth. If an injury affected you or your child, you should contact a birth injury lawyer right away. It’s important to learn what legal rights you may have and how to move forward.  

Keep Your Baby Healthy | National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Much like a new year, learning that you’re pregnant is a time full of wonder and excitement. 

A baby, despite their small size, changes almost everything. There’s a lot that goes into preparing for your little one, but really the #1 concern for most parents is how to keep their baby healthy.

You may not have known it, but January is actually National Birth Defects Prevention Month. What a great time of year to reflect on some practical tips that can help keep you and your baby healthy throughout pregnancy and delivery. Knowledge is power, so keep reading to learn more!

A pregnant woman holds her baby bump in the shape of a heart.

Prevent Birth Defects & Keep Your Baby Healthy

Each year, around 120,000 babies are born with a birth defect. To give you more perspective, this means that 1 in every 33 babies is born with an abnormality.  That’s a lot. Birth defects affect a child’s health and can alter their physicality, intellect, and development. Thankfully the CDC has many helpful recommendations that help prevent birth defects.

Here’s a few steps you should take once you learn you’re pregnant:

► Since you just received the good news, there’s no better time than now to select your doctor and schedule an appointment. Your doctor should be able to answer all of your questions and they’ll also see you for checkups throughout your pregnancy.

► It’s really important to steer clear of substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs. If you’re planning on getting pregnant, avoid them before trying to conceive. None of these substances are safe for your baby. 

► Check with your doctor about the prescription medications you currently take. Professional counsel can help discern whether certain medications are safe or not. Some medications actually cause birth defects, so due diligence is vital.

► It’s also recommended that you get your flu and Tdap vaccinations during each pregnancy to help prevent illness. Not all vaccinations are safe to receive during pregnancy, so always consult with your doctor first.

Stay Healthy During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a difficult time in a woman’s life. With so many changes happening all at once it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Don’t forget to take time for yourself…prop those feet up and relax. Why? Because you deserve it, simple as that.

To keep you and your baby healthy, keep these tips in mind:

►According to the CDC, “Most women need 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day to help prevent birth defects. Women who might have pregnancies at high risk for certain birth defects should talk to their doctor about the right amount of folic acid for them.” Folic acid is a B-vitamin found in multivitamins and foods like breads and breakfast cereals.

►Consult with your doctor if you’re traveling abroad. According to the CDC, “Pregnant women can generally travel safely with a little preparation. But they should avoid some destinations, including those with Zika and malaria risk.” (Many diseases, including Zika and malaria, can cause birth defects and learning disabilities.)

►Prepare raw food items with great care, wash your hands during the cooking process, and avoid being around people that are sick. Infections can travel to the baby and cause birth defects.

Keeping a healthy diet and getting your recommended amount of exercise will keep you on the right track to a successful pregnancy. Be sure to visit the CDC’s website where you can read many more tips on how to maintain a healthy pregnancy. 

A woman lathers soap in her hands underneath a faucet.

Avoiding (& Identifying) Malpractice

So we’ve discussed a number of ways to protect your baby before birth, but how do you protect your baby during birth?  Unfortunately medical errors and negligence are very real and prevalent problems. Conditions like cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy sometimes happen because of a careless mistake. 

Sadly, mistakes like these are usually unavoidable. But here’s some tips that can be helpful in a medical setting:

► Have a family member or friend there with you. Beyond the emotional support they can provide, their presence helps keep the medical staff accountable. When you’re under an anesthetic or incapacitated, a friend can help ensure you receive prompt and thorough care. An extra set of ears and eyes is almost always a good thing.

► Unfortunately not all doctors have good bedside manner. If your doctor says something that’s confusing or you don’t understand, ask them to clarify. You deserve to know exactly what’s going on, treatments that are taking place, and what to expect during the process. Being aware can help you avoid malpractice in some cases, and identify it in others. 

► Doctors make mistakes, so stay attentive to anything that feels off. If you need to, ask for a second opinion. Don’t worry about hurting your physicians feelings, you and your baby’s health are far too important.

► Stay in tune with your body. Be aware of symptoms, changes, and effects in you or your child’s health. Communicate these with your doctor to make sure they’re paying attention to your needs and are providing the care you deserve. Take note when they’re not, both for prevention and worst case, future legal action.

► Again, staying aware and in the loop helps prevent malpractice, so don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions, and even take notes if something seems off.

January, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, is a great time of year to both refresh your personal knowledge, and to promote awareness in your community. Together, we can help decrease the likelihood of birth defects and keep moms and babies healthier!

Your Birth Injury Claim — Get Justice

It’s hard to think of a more exciting yet simultaneously terrifying experience, than the birth of your child.

You’re carrying a precious life within you. You’d do anything to make sure your baby is healthy and safe.

Which is why you have to be prepared for anything.

While our medical system is better than it’s ever been, it’s still not perfect.
In the US, roughly 6 to 8 babies out of 1,000 suffer from a birth injury, and 76 birth injuries happen each day.* These injuries wouldn’t happen if proper medical care and attention were provided.

Fact is, it’s the hospital’s duty to provide quality care — doctors, nurses and midwives are in these positions for a reason, because they’re trained to be competent professionals. You shouldn’t have to think about your baby being at risk while in their care. But birth injuries still happen, and regularly.

Birth injury is incredibly difficult for the family. It creates physical, emotional, psychological and financial issues. However, when this happens, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that the medical professionals who contributed to medical negligence can be held accountable. And while nothing can ever truly compensate the injury of your child, compensation claims do help. They hold the responsible parties liable, provide justice, and help you recover from the financial toll.

Your birth injury lawsuit can help you recover loss from:

► Suffering and pain.

► Loss of joy and companionship

► Lost income due to caring for a disabled child.

► Medical and healthcare expenses.

What is a Birth Injury Compensation Claim?

When a hospital provides negligent medical care during childbirth, they’re liable to be sued and forced to pay compensation. They can be charged to compensate victims for both economic and non-economic damages. However, before you file a birth injury claim, make sure you have legitimate claim. Keep in mind that minor birth injuries such as bruising, swelling and discomfort are common problems that have no long-term effects, so they’re not worth suing for.

But when someone is negligent and complications arise, that automatically makes the hospital and/or medical professional liable for birth injury claims. This is especially true when the complications have long-term effects.

Examples of these complications which can occur to mothers and newborns include the following:

►Issues with suturing or stitching that cause post-natal infection.

► Delayed or misdiagnosed pre-eclampsia.

► Trauma or injuries caused by caesarean section errors.

► Internal tears or damage to the perineum.

► Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus or placenta abruption.

► Fractures, cuts or wounds found on the newborn.

► Muscular injuries to the newborn such as brachial plexus or Erb’s palsy.

► Brain injuries to the infant such as cerebral palsy.

► Post-natal shock or trauma.

Some people get stressed just thinking about filing a lawsuit. But if you think you have a case and you want compensation, you should get started as soon as possible.

How do I Prove They’re Liable for my Birth Injury Claim?

To make sure you have a valid claim, keep this in mind:

► You must have had a doctor/healthcare provider-patient relationship established.

► A doctor/healthcare provider was clearly negligent during treatment.

► The birth injuries were direct effects of negligence from the doctor/healthcare provider.

Clinical errors occurred, such as;

– Inadequate and incompetent care before, during, and after delivery.

– Mishandling of medication and birth-assisting tools.

– Putting mother and newborn in dangerous and critical conditions like failure to monitor fetal or maternal distress, for example.

– Failure to recognize and treat possible infections.

– Providing an incorrect diagnosis.

Who Can File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Generally, the parents or legal guardians of the infant can file a birth injury lawsuit. After all  the medical expenses incurred by the birth injury fall on their shoulders. For cases that show delayed birth injury effects such as cerebral palsy or other brain injuries, the child can make the claim, if he or she is 18 years of age or older. However, this can vary depending on the state you live in.

How Much Compensation will I get from my Birth Injury Claim?

Every claim is different, with different amounts. Also, some states put a limit on the maximum amount you can claim, especially for non-economic damages. That said, you can expect compensation for these expenses:

► Physical and/or occupational therapy.

► Medical treatment expenses associated with the injury.

► Home health care provisions.

► Special education expenses.

► Cost of earnings or salary, because you missed work.

► Counseling or other psychological and mental services.

► Special damages which are treatments or rehabilitation for long-term effects of the birth injury.

Will my Claim Help me With Attorney’s Fees & Charges?

Most lawyers who agree to take on birth injury lawsuits work on a contingency-fee basis which doesn’t require you to pay them immediately. Usually, the complainant and defendant will have a settlement agreement. In that case, you’ll be able to settle out of court. But if you can’t reach settlement, you’ll most likely go to trial. When you win the case and claim reimbursement, your attorney will usually just take a percentage of the total compensation claimed. Make sure you have a clear understanding and agreement with your attorney before starting your claim.

Will I be Able to Claim my Compensation Immediately?

Keep in mind that you won’t receive your compensation immediately. It’ll take time. Honestly, you probably won’t even receive any compensation within the year, but it’s still worth pursuing. Just be sure to keep all records and documents of your medical expenses throughout the process, to ensure maximum reimbursement. If you have a strong case, they may have to compensate for both past expenses and future ones.

If you believe you have a birth injury case, please reach out to us or a law firm in your area. We’re here for you.

Find & Choose the Best Birth Injury Attorney

How to Find an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney

Mother looks down at newborn baby, as baby grasps a strand of her hair.

There’s no two ways about it — birth injuries can be incredibly difficult.

The emotional heartache parents experience is horrendous, let alone the physical and financial difficulties they face.

They’re slung without warning into a harsh world where they’re forced to make tough medical and financial decisions that can drain the life out of even the strongest people, when all they dream of is welcoming a happy and healthy baby home.

If you’re in this position, know this. You may have specific rights and options that you’re unaware of. Injuries like Cerebral Palsy, Neonatal Encephalopathy, and Kernicterus can be avoidable, and medical professionals should always treat them with the utmost care and caution to avoid further complications.

If you or your child have experienced any type of negligence in the hands of medical professionals, we encourage you to get a hold of an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. This is how.
Continue reading Find & Choose the Best Birth Injury Attorney

Medical Malpractice: Birth Injuries to Mothers

Birth injuries have the potential to alter the lives of families in profound and permanent ways. Apart from injuries sustained by newborns – including brain damage, cerebral palsy, and injuries resulting from C-sections – mothers can also suffer serious injuries when medical professionals fail to provide an acceptable standard of care. Continue reading Medical Malpractice: Birth Injuries to Mothers